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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  April 15, 2019 3:00am-4:01am PDT

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>> good afternoon. my name is marily mondejar ond the commission on community and investme investment infrastructure for the redevelopment agency for tuesday, april 2, 2019. welcome to members of the public. before i ask the madame secretary to call the first item, i would just like request a moment of silence for the passing of careen woods a prominent activist of mission bay.
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madame secretary, please call the first item. >> thank you, madame chair. the first order of business is item one, roll call. commission members please respond when i call your name. [roll call] all members of the commission are present. next order of business is item 2,announcements. the next regularly scheduled meeting will be held april 16, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at city hall room 416b. be advised the use of cell phones and similar sound producing electronic devices are prohibited at this meeting. be advised the chair may order the removal of any persons
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responsible for the use of sound produci producing electronic advice. be advised a member of this public has up to flee minutes to make comments on each agenda item unless the commission adopt as a shorter period on any item. it is strongly recommended members of the public who wish to address the commission fill out a speaker card and submit it to the commission secretary. item 3, report on items take on a previous closed session. there's no reportable action. next order is 4, matters of unfished business. item 4a pursuant to section 9.07 of the disposition and development agreement with trans bay 8 urban planning llc the developer has made good faith efforts but has been unsuccessful in leasing approximately 12,400 square foot
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grocery store at 440 folsom street and the obligation under 9.70 north block between first street and fremont street. transbay redevelopment area and resolution 4-2019. >> fellow commissioners, i'd like to suggest we kick over the item to a later portion of our agenda. if there no object, i'd like to -- no objection i'd like to postpone it to a later time today. i'm sorry, i should have said that earlier. madame secretary can you call the next item. >> clerk: the next order of business is item 5, matters of new business consisting of consent and regular agenda. first the consent agenda, 5a, approval of minutes from
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february 19, 2019. >> do i have a motion? >> so moved. >> second. >> motion by commissioner bustos seconded by commissioner singh. madame secretary, please take the roll call. >> clerk: commissioner members announce your name when i call your name. [roll call] >> madame chair, the vote is five ayes. >> i'd like to call the item we rescheduled item number 4a. >> thank you. madame secretary and madame
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chair. through the chair, this item is for you from back in december 2018. the item was brought before the commission for approval to release the developer of the obligation to have a grosser as they had made good faith efforts and they've been unsuccessful. the motion that was made at the time was to continue the item for 90 days with an update report in 60 days which we submitted and today is the action item required. the project manager will go through the sequence of events but the bottom line is staff is requesting that the commission release them of the obligation because we believe they've done good faith effort per the contract executed in 2015 that included them hiring a listing agent to market the grocery store providing adequate staffing which they found to
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support the effort as well as profiding quarterly updates progress report market survey and so on and reported annually since then to the commission on progress they're making. so shane would be leading the discussion. we also have representatives and development partner related also presenting on the item. with that i'll turn it over to jane hart to do the presentation >> good afternoon, chair mo mondejar. i am the trans bay block a is tenderloin developer and nadia already introduced jonathan and bill they represent the developer. we have katie lamont a representative from tndc and
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sarah graham from strategic economics and she was hired by ocii. we're here to discuss the developer's request to terminate the grocery obligation. the item was brought before the commission december 18, 2018 and continued for 90 days beginning january 1 of this year. we find the developer made good faith efforts to provide a grocery store and approve termination of the developer's obligation to provide a grocery store of the block 8dda on full some between first and fremont street. the project consists of 548 residential units of which 150 are affordable and 17,600 square
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feet of retail. it's approximately 13,000 square feet was planned for a grocery store located partially at the ground level and ly in the basement level. the grocery space is located in the podium adjacent to the tower. it has its own separate air space parcels owned by the developer and not part of the affordable project owned by ocii. section 9.07 of the dda reads if the develop ears -- developer's unable to enter into a lease with a commercial tenant on terms acceptable to the developer within 12 months prior to the anticipated completion date the developer may seek approval from the commission to terminate its obligation and approval shall not be
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unreasonably withheld or conditioned or delayed. at the december 18 meeting, the commission continued for 90 days at the developer's request to terminate the grocery obligation so the developer could reach out to grocers and look at alternative models for the space and research additional incentives for possible tenants. since january 1, the developers met with representatives the cac and cbd staff to get their ideas about potential grocers and reached out to grocers that previously declined the space as well as 15 new grocers. some of whom provide lower-priced food and alternative grocery models.
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we response -- we also reached out to napa farms and they offered tenant allowances. none of the growers is were due to the split level, small side and prompt proximity to wood lands market. i attempted to contact all the grocers that were contacted by the developer. got responses from three grocers and the reasons for not being interested in the space mirrored those reasons the developer has provided. the developer made good efforts as required in the
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dda and they provided necessary staffing and provided ocii with status updates. the developer has also followed up on the commission requests from the december meeting. on march 14, the transbay, cac split the vote 4-4 to recommend it the commission the grocery obligation be terminated. staff conclusion is the developer has made good faith efforts per section 9.07 of the dda and has been unable to lead the space and staff recommends the grocery obligation being terminate and would like to now introduce bill white. >> thank you, chair mondejar and
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commissioners. i want to give perspective first then i'll ask our project manager jonathan sum and katie lamont to add some specifics. as i think some of you or most may recall, when we were selected in the original request for proposals, the ranking was based 70% of it would be the price we'd pay nor site because the funds were to be used to help pay or the transbay terminal. that was the most important criteria and we were the highest bid. i think 15 to 20 points were on design and planning and we spent a lot of time on that including having our public pass paseo so the neighborhood could benefit and the rest was on developer capacity. the first time the grocery issue came up, we brought it up.
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the reason was that whole foods, who we did a project with in new york city approached us independently and said we have an urban model. we may be interested in the space and thought that would be interesting. we have about 17,000 feet of retail. we had other obligations and mixed income housing and they looked and for some of the reasons you heard they also wanted more park. they decided they weren't interested but we like the idea, frankly. we did. certainly this is an advisory committee hence the development and i'll letton than update you as you heard what happened since the last commission meeting. i did a couple other things. i knew tndc had been working on a similar objective and project in the tenderloin where they
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were trying to attractive an existing grocer and the challenges they ran into in what frankly is an easier situation on its face. we also have a city wide perspective. as we speak we're under construction at a site, a 300 unit mixed income on jackson park and portero hill and we've had the 588, 200 unit, affordable project in mission bay south. we're ultimately going to being to lease retail space where we're joint venturing to redevelop the sunny dale housing site. i know it's a tougher challenge or location. issues you hear here are not similar to what we hear in the city.
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it's not like there's a lot of these happening anywhere in san francisco let alone at this location. we even considered when people talked about affordable grocer, don't know there's someone in business to lose money but we thought about after talking to dndc, maybe if we can get someone we would give the affordable residents not just in our building but in the transbay area a discount. that's something that wasn't implausible because it's a smaller percentage of units. we thought about a lot of things and we have a pretty wide perspective on this and for the reasons you'll hear and have heard, we haven't been able to do that. i would just make a couple other points. i want to be clear, we didn'ta oppose the notion of having i agree ser. we surfaced the idea of i agree -- i agree
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-- a grocer and we reached out to say where it works here or not, what are things others have done else where to attract an affordable grocer. it's not that we think it's a bad idea or it was wrong to put us through the pace to reach out and try. we didn't disagree with that. but the other issue which is the whole city wide problem and we alluded to it, there's such a labor shortage and it's so expensive to live in san francisco, whether it's retailers or restaurants it's difficult to get people to find a workforce. it's a bigger picture i'm sure
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you hear legitimately a lot. the other thing to say is this isn't necessarily the end of transbay grocers. there is 80,000, 90,000 square feet of retail space in the terminal which is in some respect is easier because have you a synergy of uses and flexibility of space. i don't know anyone is giving up in transbay writ large on trying to attract i agree ser a groce say there's no interest i'm not sure is fair. i'll turn it over to jonathan and katie to give you more update by update and discussions we've had, etcetera. thank you.
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>> good afternoon. madame chair mondejar and vice chair bustos, commissioners. related is requesting the relea release to market the space to an alternate market use and avoid making ground floor retail which has been an issue plaguing san francisco. the commission's message in december was loud and clear. they recognize the community's frustration on the item and as a result we have listened to their concerns and incorporated their feedback into our leasing efforts.
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immediately after the december hearing, we formulated a subcommittee with members of staff to generate an outreach strategy with the hope of attracting a tenant to the project. members on the subcommittee including those who spoke against us in the last commission hearing. since that time, we've had several meetings with the subcommittee which resulted in us working together diligently and provided a group of preferred grocers and related contact to each grocer on their list and they all declined on the project. this was further verified when oci staff independently contacted grocers. since the project was awarded to
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five years ago we spent resource of resources marketing this space to grocers and every operator has reject the space for the reasons shown on the screen. as bill mentioned, it should be noted during the rfp process it prioritized the purchase price of 70% of the consideration to fund the construction of the transbay terminal with the balance allocated towards design as well as developer experience. the grocery store as bill mentioned was not a requirement of our fee. it was whole foods who approached related for the basement level store. as a result we included it in our proposal. unfortunately, for a number of reasons, whole foods rescind its offer and in large part due to amazon's acquisition which
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resulted in a lowered footprint and this was approved in 2015. despite the setback, related has continued to heavily advertise the space to grocery stores in accordance with the dda. the list of grocers range from local operators such as buy right, molly stones to trader joe's, whole foods and safeway. in most cases we have contacted each operator a number of times and each time they have passed on the site. at this time the most cited reasons include the lack of continuous ground floor space and parking and technologies industry's disruptive impact on an already-low margin business all beyond related's control. we take our role as a
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responsible developer in the transbay district seriously. we're focussed on making the right decisions an committed to san francisco for the long term. this commitment dates back to our project on third and mission over 30 years ago and includes the pipeline of affordable and market-rate housing. we've been in partner with ocii and an active member in the transbay community. i ensured the compliance with many departments. we have invested in the neighborhood to help address street maintenance and safety and shared experiences with the dbd to further the goals. the several hundred workers on the job worked tirelessly worked to deliver a project on time and on budget. ocii and tndc and related should be proud knowing the first
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affordable housing residents are moving in in the next two weeks. the building's facade is quite stunning as you can see on the screen. we've created avery lane. a beautiful public open space even or most ardent critics acknowledge say welcomed addition to the neighborhood. in conclusion, we respectfully request the commission grant the request from the obligation and we have attempted good faith efforts to the letter of the law and in spirit and working with the community as well as with ocii staff. thank you for your time. i'd like to introduce katie lamont of housing development to share the experience with attract low-cost grocery operator.
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>> thank you, good afternoon afternoon, commissioners. you're familiar and we're partnered with related but we also develop properties for on you ore right and partner with small community nonprofits. i'm here to share our experience with a property we're developing at eddie and taylor in the t tenderloin. the tenderloin say fundamentally different -- is a fundamentally different neighborhood than transbay so i realize we're talking about different environments and the primary goal in seeking a grocery tenant at this location was driven by our own needs of analysis and things we heard from community members about wanting more access to affordable, healthy food. at the time we have the vision, the closest grocery operator was the bristol farms in the basement of the mall which has
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since closed and people are now using trader joe's in said of calico's. we started out controlling the property in 2008. at that time we hired a grocery consultant that worked with grocers seeking property and brought him on to present to try to figure out how to present the property in a way or opportunity that would be most palatable to what we were locking for which was a safe way or some kind of regular grocery operator. nothing high end or anything like that. we reached out to 35 grocers at the time that had a regional or national footprints. the folks we thought could provide food at the lower price point. we had engagement with two operators and the grow si -- grocery outlet and fresh and easy and they declined our experience. i'll talk about our experience
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with the two of them. before i say that, i'll say generally across the board we encountered the challenge the related team is describing in their lead efforts for this grocery outreach in transbay. most operators are looking for at least 20,000 square feet and we couldn't offer parking at all and if it was it wasn't as convenient as most people are used to and we were not willing to sacrifice housing units for the parking. we found with brosery -- grocery outlet in particular, the model and break point in our conversation with them is they typical customer has 3.2 household members and in the
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tenderloin they're small so it wasn't a good fit for them. i don't the the demographics of transbay but that may be an issue in terms of the average size of the household compared to a typical grocery model. i'm speculating. the second and they are used to seeing people leave with a lot of bags and they're used to most people the way they transport all the bags to their homes is in cars. that's why the marking was so important -- parking was so important to them and most operators. for fresh and easy, we had more traction there. they did actually open a grocery in the bay view after we had our conversations with them and they declined to pursue it may have been at the time that's the opportunity they chose and the parking is probably easier in the bay view. the lesson we took away from our experience with fresh and easy is they were totally inflexible
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about their design. one of the things with the larger operators is they have developed a formula that works and when they're seeking new opportunities, they're looking for a program they believe will deliver the profits they need and rigidly hold to that program. this is my editorial i don't know that's unreasonable given it's an a low-margin business. in our conversation with fresh and easy we were talking early enough in the process we were starting to tweak our design to meet their requirements and ultimately, they backed out for other reasons probably related to the economy at that time. our project stalled due to the economy and when our project was revised, it was downscaled from a 14 story, 150 unit building to an eight-story, 113 unit
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building and everything shrank. at this point we had gone through a search for a larger operator and found that was infeasible. for other reasons our project like the related project was not driven primarily by the grocery. that would have aligned well with our mission and we ended up downscaling our vision. we also ended up rather than focussing on regional and national partner, we started to focus on local partners. i'm saying this to say we ultimately did identify a corner store that was already serving the community that was partnered with a city program to call the healthy corner store initiative it. was showing real commitment and interest in trying to offer or being willing to accept help to offer healthier products. and we ended up choosing them.
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we did a vare -- survey of local growers and this is the only one that remained interested past the first meeting and they happened to be located across the street from us. after their customers are tenant and i'm one of their customers. it's the most convenient place for know shop. we went through the process once we realized we'd have all the financing together and would be able to start construction and were able to build our ground floor to suit their needs. with the refrigeration requirements and delivery requirements, with the refuse requirements, requires a lot of intensive capital investment. in our particular case we were able to identify the user in time to build for those requirement. that's the challenge at the avery where the project had to
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move on a schedule. that was also part of the evaluation for the selection. since they didn't have a grocer they couldn't stop and now it would be expensive to bring a grocery in and make the physical improvements that would be needed for that. because it's a low-margin business any operator would have to come in with a high degree of certainty be successful in that location. i know in the experience with the market we're bring inning it's called valda's and they're expanding to 3700 square feet. it's a different scale, i'll acknowledge and it's a smaller operation so they have less capital. cost of the t.i.s are quite significant. because it's a community benefit and we're partnered with the
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mayor's office of housing and we're provide significant portion of the capital build out which the city of san francisco is making that subsidy. i just want to share that experience with you for the parts that feel relevant and translatable. i'm happy to provide more specific detail if that would be helpful. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i'm peter hartman from transbay. i was one of the four that voted
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to allow the developer to be removed from obligation for this grocery store. this is giving a new definition to beat dead horse. i was here in zer -- december and after hearing it i felt they made a good faith effort and made all the points they were required to do. it seemed to me they may be even beyond that. but i can understand why the community and other members of the cac wanted to have another chance to try to get a grocery store in there. i live at third and fol some and been there since 1990s and i was
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there when there was a grocery store and i understood that and thought if the community gets involved when they get the commit going they'll be able to uncover something. well, they haven't and just to be fair to everybody, to allow the develop tore move on from this, the community can still organize and maybe this is something ocii wants it support to location other sites in the area as the neighborhood develops out and grocery developers get more confidence in what's going on down there, they'll able to identify another site. i don't think leaving this empty will do anybody ann good. the -- any good. developer or the community.
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>> hi. i'm katina johnson also a member of the ocii and i was on the subcommitte subcommittee jonathan mentioned. i'm speaking for myself as a resident and a member of the cac who voted to require them to uphold the commitment to the neighborhood. i'm frustrated we're in the same position we were in last december. i know that related has made efforts to continue the search including offering a reduced rate which i greatly applaud. my understand from the previous meeting was they should also find out what it would take to get grocers into the space. and i'm not sure we have an answer. i think we're in trouble. if we're talking about the transbay writ large the truth is the interest in retail leasing
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has plummeted which i think is probably the last viable space to have a location for a grocery store. and if we look at san francisco one of the most established neighborhoods, north beach doesn't have a functional grocery store and i think we're head same direction. i want to reiterate the neighborhood wants and expects to have an affordable grocer and i'm asking the commit to ensure we get one. as a final note, i'll say the east cut cbd surveyed and received about 540 responses. takeaways were one, there's a strong desire for reasonably priced grocery store in the east cut district. 85% of residents are very interested in having another grocery store. four of five respondents would do all their shopping locally if
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another affordable grocery store would move in and there's woodlands which is an upscale and 83% are very interested in having another grois store in the neighborhood. for the existing and planned affordable housing development, woodlands isn't an option and they're built to have 35% affordable housing residents to be at the avery. and lastly, when asked what other types of grocers should be in the neighborhood the number respondents focussed on options like trader joe's and sprouts. >> this is quite an honor to speak because i didn't come to
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speak on this item. i saw mr. whitey and in the elevator and we reminisced. we go back many years. i'm just black i don't crack. and i have history with mr. whitey. i'm here if it means anything, to give a stamp of approval if you don't want the groceries because go back to history. don't put the burden on him. let me tell you about the history of related and the relationship i have mr. whittey and related. they're doing a wonderful job work the san francisco tabernacle with which i have a contract with. that's the only group in my community doing a good job is related. they have other properties in the fillmore. they're doing a wonderful job. in the city by the bay, grant
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them to get away from the contract. and another thing, they're dealing with both groups, the cac and the cbd parallel to the fillmore we don't have a damn thing on our community. if the developer's working with both groups, that's saying something. he ain't paid me a dime. i sent no invoice yet, nah. i'm up hear speaking from the bottom of my heart because i have something else to speak to you about and i'm just doing a parallel. tndc, you know the issues. and my buddy mr. bill whittey. he said his brother was doing fine. that was on my mind, if that means anything. you're doing a wonderful job. they're working out with some of the biggest developers in public housing for people that look like me so hopefully in the future we can make things
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happen. right now though, don't stress this group out. let's find something else. the problem is there's no super markets. you know how you failed in the fillmore. you can try something else. don't stop the project. move on. it's got my stamp of approval. >> clerk: no more speaker cards. >> hearing no further request to speak i'll now close public comment and turn to commission members for comments and questions. commissioner singh. >> i want to know what we're going to do with it now?
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what's the alternative to what we have now? >> i'm sorry? >> grocery store. also, is there parking in addition to retail? >> no. >> do you want to answer the marki marking -- parking and the alternatives they're considering? >> as the commission is aware, we have provided the maximum parking we could according to the entitlement guidelines which is one parking space for every 1500 square feet and we'd try to locate additional parking locations the would have to coordinate a parking agreement with to help facilitate that demand. >> thank you.
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>> the second question. what is being considered if not a grocery store? >> we've been very focussed on other neighborhood serving retail, food and beverage. there's been a lack of food and beverage alternatives that service the residents specifically on the evenings and weekends so that's been our primary focus as of right now. >> commissioner rosales. i >> a couple questions. the first question concerns a topic one of the speakers brought up. my recollection of the motion i year -- initiated in december
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had to do with not so much hearing nos but what it would take for a grocer to say yes. i quantity -- want to know fau -- if approached it that way. >> good question. it's not unusual if you're negotiate a retail tenant to say, well, as you have it now, are the rents too high or if you can do this or that gets back to your question. what never happened here which sometimes does is whether we do it nort, you pay for -- or not, you pay for it and the other obstacles so it wasn't just will you come, it was more.
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an affordable grocer that's relatively affordable in that space, three or four times we had different questions. we could never get to the -- i'll tell you what, if we do this and such or if we do that. for example, clearly from a revenue point of view retail is a component. it's not just about cheaper rent or pay nor t.i.s. it doesn't matter. that's something we would have considered. it doesn't affect the overall economics. what say problem for us as we try to market market-rate rentals and condos is empty pace. -- space. that's a problem. people thwart thinking why isn't nobody in it.
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not that you should put anything in there. jonathan told you what we're trying do. but we did go to that. we're used to negotiating with people and saying, you know, what would it take. there was nothing whether it's play lei -- layout is insurmountable. the things we could have done were on the economic side but they weren't enough. >> so then the other question i had and i think this is for general council on page 2 of the memo we have talked about good faith efforts. i want to ask a question. page two describes section 9.07 of the disposition agreement and it says the development about
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the development program and the grocery store and says the lead developer agre to design the project to accommodate and use good faith efforts to obtain a tenant, a grocery store acceptable to lead developer. my question is that sounds like an affirmative obligation per the agreement to design the project as it says in plain english to accommodate a grocery store. my question is did that happen here? >> hang on. could you just refer which memo it is? >> the staff memo. >> what date? >> april 2. page 2. the indented portion. it's a question for i think
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general council. >> commissioner rosales and other members of the commission, the commission approved the design of this building. with the idea that there would be efforts made to find a grocer and so by the commission's own actions, it approved the design that was designed to accommodate a grocer as best it could under the circumstances. so in answer to the question was that obligation fulfilled. yes, it was under the circumstances it was unique, obviously, to have a multifloor space available. you approved it knowing the developer would then try to market that or use good faith efforts to find a grocer.
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does the design come first or the outreach or expectation of what you're designing for. basically, we heard from mr. whittey and i agree because i remember the proposal for a grocer came from related. i remember being very excited about that. i do remember whole foods was part of the mix there. in my mind what comes first is a grocer's going ib there and there's design to accommodate that grocer or any grocer. what comes first? as the one say we'll have a grocer come in and then design it so it's almost impossible for any grocer to come in. it would seem one would want to understand what the requisite is and now we're stuck with a design nobody wants to say yes to because it's just dumb,
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frankly. that's how i'm reading it. no one's willing to say yes for all these reasons. i'm focussing on the obligation of what came first. the design? >> the commission approved a basement and ground floor space. >> proposed by the developer? >> you have the discretion and ultimately approved it it would be used as best it could be for a grocer. so within those constraints, the developer was obligated to then try to find a grocer. it would be unreasonable to have the developer now seek other space in the building which has been designed for other uses.
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that would be the solution, i force, to address the issues by other bro sers. -- grocers. you made a decision the basic framework for design would be acceptable. and i suppose how that basement space and ground floor space could be designed within that and to address concerns if not in the basement, at this point was precluded by your decision to allow this space for a grocer
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tenant. for instance, if someone proposes a child chair center and a design where basically no kids can play and no one inform me, since i'm not a childcare provider or architect, nobody informs me that's not going to accommodate the purpose we're trying to achieve, then it's kind of hard to say later in time that it we approved it. i'm trying to figure out why is it we're now stuck with a design issue. the promise was to design for a grocery store. >> if i may add, i know you'll respond to this, we knew about these objections in june 2018. i think i saw a report somewhere with a response and it's based on a majority of the decline was based on space.
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space lay out and if i'm not mistaken this is way back, 2018. >> commissioner, if i may, a couple things. first of all, different users had different problems, number one. number two, whole foods who started this did their signature store in manhattan in the basement of the related time warner project. when they looked at this when they looked at the basement level, at left for whole foods, when we did the initial design, was not a problem for them. i want to be clear. only later did other problems surface. frankly, when you design a building -- this isn't childcare where there's state standards for indoor and outdoor space and we look at urban models. we went into it with our eyes
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open. we didn't think we would get safeway or get anybody like that but there seem to be users out there including the one who first approached us who would access at least the amount of space and even the initial one we spoke to a basement level that wasn't contiguous. they there were otherish -- other issues. they didn't surface right away. we accepted the idea it would be desirable to have one and we thought based on our initial input it was plausible. i will tell you that the operating cost situation has worsened over the three years. you'll find anywhere in the city, not just in transbay. i think it's made people who might have been on the fence that might have pushed them off the fence, we don't really know
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that. so i hear what your saying but that wasn't the case. we didn't go into this thinking this is never going work. we thought it was plausible, otherwise, we would be the have bothered or accepted that. >> it should be noted when we're designing the space and when it was approved by the commission, wo woodlands had yet to open their market and it has deterred a number of potential operators that were interested in the space initially. there are a number of operators that can operate in a similar sized space we're providing. it's just when that store opened at the bottom of limina it deterred them and related designed and approved the project. >> if i may add just to clarify that the dda and other was
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approved at the same time so there wasn't a lag? they all got approved at the same time? my expectation is at the time it was proned but -- approved but with time it became an issue. >> yeah. i just wanted to comment it was in 2018, a memo from related from you, jonathan, mr. schaum, december 31, 2018, you committed a retail leasing report for all the reasons why there was a decline. to expand on my comment, what did related do to accommodate the reasons for declining the space? but i'd like to defer to commissioner scott. [please stand by]
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we try to look and have a broad view of what's happening and how this relates to others and, you
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know, we also tend to try to look at what's beneficial for the people who are living in that community. so we requested another 90 days just to be able to go ahead and we said to put forward a good faith effort. i'll be honest, i did question that good faith effort when we got that letter, right? you know what i'm talking about. and i'm grateful that it was rescinded but it didn't make me question. so, you know, they say you're as good as your last vote, you're as good as your last event that you produced, and i hope that this is not the last building that you built and the last development. i mean, you're doing a lot of great work. and, you know, i take into
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consideration that, you know, the vacancy rate of a lot of retail is pretty high. a lot of neighborhoods are now suffering because of that. and, you know, i also understand that, you know, we -- we don't want to be that dead horse as was said earlier, because cruelty to animals is wrong. but, you know, maybe this is a broader question for us as a city because we as o.c.i. are working to help to shape a community that's there by approving these buildings and making sure they're done right. and taking to heart what was said by miss christina johnson that maybe we need to have a discussion, a planning, on, you
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know, there's a responsibility i think that we have as we improve these projects around that area that, you know, people get served. and that there should be affordable grocery stores for people to be able to use and to buy their groceries because we do -- you know, unlike other commissions we're actually saying that we want on-site affordability. and that was a mandate that, you know, people -- it doesn't matter, you know, how much you make, you have should access to this beautiful city. i remember back in the day of redevelopment we'd have a joint annual meeting with the planning commission in the board chambers and we would talk about projects. maybe that's something that we should bring up where we can talk to them about the need to look at planning that's in the pipelines so that we can find grocers that are affordable.
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so, you know, enough said. i think that i've said a lot already so thank you. >> thank you, commissioner busts on. first i want to say thank you and i do appreciate the effort that went into trying to look for a grocery or a supermarket that will be satisfied with the configuration that you have. i just have, you know, some questions in my mind, as the commissioner rosales indicated in her -- as part of her motion in december, what it would take to get a grocer to say yes. so i do not see any effort on trying to configure the layout so that those who were declining because of the layout, that it would be addressed. i do appreciate the list of a